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Equality California, Amicus Curiae in Janus v. AFSCME, Condemns U.S. Supreme Court’s Anti-Worker Ruling
June 27, 2018 at 7:20 am

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2018

CONTACT: Samuel Garrett-Pate, Equality California
PHONE: (323) 848-9801/MOBILE: (973) 476-3770/EMAIL: sam@eqca.org

WASHINGTON — Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Janus v. AFSCME, in which the Court found that Mr. Janus — a state government worker in Illinois represented by the union — does not have to pay fees to support AFSCME’s work from which he benefits, Equality California released the following statement from Executive Director Rick Zbur:

“Throughout the LGBTQ civil rights movement, labor unions have played an important role, not only as our allies, but as our advocates. Unions have fought to improve working conditions, combat discrimination and increase wages for LGBTQ Americans. And they have stood shoulder to shoulder with us in the fight for full LGBTQ equality and social justice.

“We know workers’ rights are LGBTQ rights, and LGBTQ rights are workers’ rights. Today’s Supreme Court ruling is an attack on unions and an attack on working people, but standing together in solidarity, this too we will overcome.”

In January, Equality California signed an amicus curiae (friend-of-the-court) brief in the case, along with the National Women’s Law Center, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 85 additional organizations. The brief urged the Court to stand by the rights of unions to collect essential fees needed to provide crucial professional and economic opportunities to workers, including women, people of color and members of the LGBTQ community, who are often the most marginalized in the workplace.

“…LGBTQ workers do not have consistent and universal legal protections against discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Only 20 states and the District of Columbia prohibit discrimination on both grounds for all employees,” said the amicus brief. “Unions, however, have frequently bargained to protect LGBTQ workers. For example, within the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, which is a party to this case, over 1,000 union contracts prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, and many include gender identity language.”

During the fight for marriage equality and other critical legal battles to protect and expand the civil rights of LGBTQ Americans, labor unions have been key allies, filing their own amicus curiae briefs urging the Court to support fairness and equality for all.

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Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization. We bring the voices of LGBTQ people and allies to institutions of power in California and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ people. We advance civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those we serve. www.eqca.org


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